Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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Interesting facts of the day

The Economist has a survey on New York City that is chock full of fascinating information. Some of the items that piqued my interest:

Manhattan is still enormously wealthy. The residents of just 20 streets on the east side of Central Park donated more money to the 2004 presidential campaigns than all but five entire American states....

Most immigrants live in the outer boroughs, two-thirds of them in Queens or Brooklyn, where they build businesses and often homes. Flushing in Queens, whose population is now nearly two-thirds immigrant, is a striking example. Poor and virtually all white in the early 1970s, the place is now Asian and flourishing. Across the city there has been a boom in housing construction. From the start of 2000 to July 2004, permits for about 85,000 new units were issued, almost as many as in the whole of the 1990s. And nearly half of all new housing in the past seven years is reckoned to be occupied by immigrants or their children....

Sex and the City” stars four young career women and is ostensibly about the difficulties of finding a man in New York. It has a point. According to an analysis for The Economist, there are 93 men to every 100 women among single New Yorkers aged 20-44. In the country as a whole, and in most other big cities, there are more young single men than young single women....

Leave out the passengers and crew on the aeroplanes that were flown into the World Trade Centre, and about 2,600 people were killed in New York on September 11th 2001. Put that tragic number in perspective, and you can perhaps see how it is possible for New York to be a powerful magnet for talent, youth and energy once more. In 1990 there were 2,290 murders in the city; last year there were 566. Thus even if a September 11th were to occur every other year, the city would by one measure be quite a lot safer than it would be with crime at its 1990 level and no terrorism.

Click here to hear an audio interview with the survey's author, Anthony Gottlieb.

posted by Dan on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM


I noted the same survey last week.

The first and last one's you cite were the ones that popped out at me. The survey should be required reading, IMHO.

posted by: Dave on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM [permalink]

I suspect the single male/female ratio is even more skewed than is sugested by the survey because it doesn't appear to take into account sexual orientation. Although I can't point to any particular data, my own impression is that gay men flock to urban areas more than gay women. So if a larger percentage of single NYC men are gay than single NYC women, the reality for single straight women is even more harsh.

As a single straight guy, I certainly noticed that in San Francisco in the early 90s. I never met so many dateless single women in my life. Now San Francisco is probably the extreme but I expect the pattern holds true elsewhere.

As for safety, I only visit NYC every few years, but it absolutely blows me away how much safer the city feels now. At least Manhattan. Can't believe how many unattended young girls you see on the subway at night. You'd have never seen that in the 80s and early 90s.

posted by: Kent on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM [permalink]

The data confirm my personal observations re: single females. This is good to know. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. I'm moving, that's it. But where to? Any ideas?

posted by: Toni Macaroni on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM [permalink]

Well, if you want to meet guys there's always Alaska.

I can't possibly give you advice on where to move without any idea of your profession and interests.

posted by: Kent on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM [permalink]

I was educated in NYC and left in the 1980s when all the experts and opinion leaders were saying that the city was ungovernable. This is what it was like in those days. The city had defaulted on its obligations. The state, in its wisdom, had created a new bureaucracy to oversee the city government. I was on my way to an interview with this new bureaucracy. There I was standing in a crowded subway car, every millimeter of its surface covered in gangster graffiti hailed as high art by the cognescetti,stopped in the middle of the tunnel in suffocating heat with a disheveled person soaked in urine screaming invective in my face while other passengers looked away in fear that they might become the next target. At the next stop I exited and walked home resolving never to ride in the subway again and to leave NYC at the earliest opportunity. Make no mistake about it. Rudi Giuliani accomplished something revolutionary. He is rightly feted and nationally popular for his handling of 9/11. If there had been no 9/11, wish it were so, he would still stand out as an exception in American politics. This is probably not enough to get him the presidential nomination. His monument is the thousands now alive who would have been murdered had things been allowed to continue as they were before he was elected, much to the consternation of the liberal elite. Everyone riding safely alone at night in a clean subway car should thank Rudi Giulani.

posted by: jimbo on 02.23.05 at 09:37 PM [permalink]

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